The buzz of the wedding is over. Your bags are packed and you’ve said your goodbyes. Now weeks of relaxation and adventure await! But how can we continue to be productive as we start this new chapter in our lives? In this article, we will share our top ten tips on how to maintain productivity while traveling on this special first journey together.
Your first holiday as newlyweds, whether you take it straight after your wedding or you wait until later, offers a unique opportunity for the spouses to truly get to know one another. After all, they say you never really know someone until you travel with them! You’ll be making memories and setting the stage for the rest of your marriage, so how can you make the most of it? There is no reason why you should stop being productive while enjoying yourselves, wherever you choose to honeymoon. Here are our suggestions for ten ways to have a productive holiday, both spiritually and practically.
1. Reflect on the signs of Allah
As you take in the natural beauty of the world, meet people from different backgrounds, and learn to love your spouse more and more with each passing day, remember that these are signs Allah mentions in the Qur’an to reflect upon. It helps you appreciate the greatness of Allah’s power and the magnificent mercy He has placed in His creation. Allah says:
“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” [Qur’an: Chapter 30, Verse 21]
So know that the bond between the husband and wife is precious and beautiful; be conscious of that while you travel and reflect on the mercy and love He has placed between you.
2. Make dua while you travel
While traveling, you will inevitably have a lot of waiting time. One of the best ways to use this time is to make dua, because as we all know, a traveler dua is not rejected; Prophet Muhammad said:
“There are three supplications that will undoubtedly be answered: the supplication of one who has been wronged; the supplication of the traveler; and the supplication of a father for his child.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
Here are some duas specifically for newlyweds:
Before intimate relations: “Bismillah. Allahumma jannibnash-shaytaana, wa jannibish-shaytaana ma razaqtanaa” – “With the name of Allah . O Allah , keep the devil away from us and keep the devil away from that which You provide for us.” [Sunan Abi Dawud]
On the wedding night: “Allaahumma inni as’aluka khayraha wa khayra ma jabaltaha ‘alayhi wa a‘oodhi bika min sharriha wa min sharri ma jabaltaha ‘alayhi” – “(When any of you marries a woman, then let him say:) ‘”O Allah, I ask You for the good in her, and in the disposition You have given her; I take refuge in You from the evil in her, and in the disposition You have given her.”‘ [Sunan Abi Dawud]
For a righteous spouse and children: “Rabbana hablana min azwajina wathurriyyatina qurrata aa’yunin waj’alnalil muttaqeena imama” – “Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the coolness of our eyes.” [Qur’an: Chapter 25, Verse 74]
3. Prepare to find joy in all moments – even the setbacks
It’s tempting to imagine everything on the holiday going perfectly, but there will be dull moments or times when things go wrong even. Whether you’re waiting ten minutes for a taxi or six hours for a delayed flight, try to be patient and find the silver lining. This mentality will prepare you for the hardships that may come in the rest of your marriage – after all, marriage is also a journey and it’s about looking on the bright side!
4. Disconnect from social media to better connect with your spouse
We often feel the need to broadcast everything on social media and show others what a good time we’re having. Not only will this distract you from living in the moment, but it may also make you susceptible to the evil eye. It was narrated from ‘Abdullah bin ‘Amir bin Rabi’ah, from his father, that the Prophet Muhammad said:
“The evil eye is real.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
Save your photos to share with close family and friends when you get home. To make it easier to disconnect, bring a digital camera to take photos and keep your phone off. It may sound obvious, but these days we have become so accustomed to using our phones for pictures, and with phones come distractions – pretty soon, you’ll be checking Facebook and emails more than communicating with and getting to know your spouse. Additionally, real cameras tend to take better pictures than phones.
5. Visit a mosque and meet local Muslims
Visiting the local masjid on holiday is an excellent way to remain connected with Allah amidst all the relaxing, eating and sightseeing! It is also a great way to get a glimpse of how foreign Muslims live as Allah says:
“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” [Qur’an: Chapter 49, Verse 13]
They may even have some recommendations for Muslim-friendly activities or restaurants that you otherwise wouldn’t have found!
6. Give back to the community
Plan fun activities but also partake in a few random acts of kindness like visiting a local orphanage or visiting poor people. Sharing your joy by giving back to the community will put barakah in your marriage and allow you to encourage each other to give sadaqah, for the sake of reuniting with each other in Jannah in sha Allah!
7. Seek moderation
Your first holiday does not have to be lavish dream vacations that put you in debt; spending a lot of money doesn’t necessarily mean more fun. It is a chance to get away from the daily grind and spend time with your new companion — whether that’s a trip to an exotic country, ‘staycation’ in your home city or going for Umrah or Hajj together. For halal-friendly destinations on a lower budget, we recommend Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Morocco, and Egypt. For those with a higher budget, we recommend Cape Town, Dubai, the Maldives, and Istanbul.
8. Let people know you are newlyweds
At your hotel or restaurant for example, do share that you are newlyweds on your first holiday. It is not uncommon for your hotel, waiter, or tour group to go out of their way to give you some free perks or upgrades to make your stay extra special.
9. Make sure your itinerary is easy, relaxing, and flexible
A jam-packed trip after what’s most likely been an intense period of wedding festivities will burn you out. You need this time to recover, both physically and mentally. Take it easy and give yourself a chance to sleep in. Have late breakfasts, take long walks or just sit and take in the view. For those of you who are high achievers, it’s okay if you don’t get a chance to see everything – you can always come back!
10. Form an imaan-boosting routine together that you can take back home with you
As husband and wife, in sha Allah you will share your spiritual goals. Starting an imaan-boosting routine is a great way to actively work together to achieve those goals. Whether it’s reading and reflecting upon an ayah of Qur’an together before bed, listing some things you’re grateful for everyday, or getting up to pray tahajjud together, this is the perfect opportunity to build a lifetime of habits that will benefit you spiritually. The Prophet Muhammad said:
How did you stay productive during your first holiday with your new spouse? Share your tips in the comments below!